Fan arrested for antisemitic abuse at Tottenham game
Police confirmed that a 57-year-old man was arrested and charged on “suspicion of a racially aggravated offense” at Sunday’s match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton.
Tottenham’s fanbase has a large Jewish contingent, and they originally called themselves “Yid Army” in response to antisemitic abuse from rival supporters, but the offense did not relate to the “Y-word.”
The latest incident involved antisemitic abuse and the man, who was sitting in the visitors’ section at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane, was reported by two Southampton supporters to police.
A statement from the London Metropolitan Police read: “During the Tottenham vs. Southampton match at White Hart Lane on 23 March, officers in the stadium received a complaint regarding the behavior of a man sat in an area reserved for away supporters.
“The complaint was made by two people sat in the same area of the stadium.
“Officers arrested the man, aged 57, on suspicion of a racially aggravated offense under section five of the Public Order Act.
“He was taken into custody and subsequently bailed until 19 May, pending further investigation.”
Tottenham regards itself as being proactive in its fight against racism and said in a statement that “antisemitism in any form is wholly unacceptable and we support all efforts to kick it out of the game.”
Last year the English Football Association had warned football fans that they would face criminal prosecution if they continued to chant the Y-word, which has been deemed antisemitic even as a segment of Tottenham fans claim they’re using the word in defiance of antisemitism.
Earlier this month, charges were dropped against three Spurs fans who were accused of using the word “yid” while at a Tottenham game.
The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors incidents of antisemitism in the United Kingdom, has been outspoken in its fight against the problem.
“In recent years antisemitism in football has been an increasingly important issue,” a spokesman for the CST said.
“CST and other Jewish organisations have worked closely with the FA and Kick It Out to try and deal with the problem and we will keep doing so.
“Racism should have no place in football and that includes antisemitism.”
A spokesman for Southampton said: “As the Metropolitan Police have confirmed, this is an ongoing investigation and as such we are unable to comment at this time.”